Best Paint For Wood Bookshelves

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Is it true that you want to paint your bookshelves but you are clueless as to where to begin? Wonder no more because we will cover all the details.

As time elapses, your bookshelves begin to lose their luster and there is no better way to restore their original than by painting them. The most challenging part of this restoration exercise is determining the best paint to use on your wood bookshelves.

In this article, we are going to furnish you with all there is to know about painting your wood bookshelves and the best paint to use. Keep reading!

Who Needs This Product? 

A bookshelf, to most of us, can only be found in a public or school library. However, this is not the case because, if you are like me, you can have your bookshelves in your study.

Regardless, you need to have essential tips to help you paint your bookshelves without having to hire a professional painter. So, in case you are wondering, this product is meant for both professional and do-it-yourself painters.

What Do Readers Will Learn?

We took it upon ourselves to compile an informative guide to help you paint your bookshelves most effortlessly.

In this post, you will discover the two best paints for wood bookshelves and a detailed buyer’s guide to help you to make a proper decision when buying paint for your wood bookshelves.

Top 2 Best Paint for Wood Bookshelves in 2021

As we stated earlier, there are many reasons to paint your bookshelves; However two prominent reasons stand out, firstly you paint bookshelves to give them a more nuanced look, and secondly, you paint your bookshelves to inspire your artistic skills.

After all, what better way to spend your free time than to explore your inner abilities through painting?

With that in mind, you may find it hard to achieve a proper finish on your paintwork if you don’t have, amongst other things, the best paints to use on your bookshelves. The internet may offer a little relief, but you will encounter all sorts of paint brands, and that is where we come in to help.

Below we will share well-researched content on the best paint for wood bookshelves to help you make the correct choice of paint for your project. Keep reading to discover what we are trying to put across.

1. Deco art Americana decor: Best for  DIY projects involving furniture  surfaces

DecoArt Americana Decor Satin Enamels Acrylic Paint for Furniture, Cabinets and More, Pure White

If you are looking for paint that will give your bookshelves a more refined look, Deco art Americana decor water-based paints should be top on your list; the paint is water-based to make it suitable for use on most surfaces. You can use this paint to create vintage decor or to upcycle furniture, frames, and other items – including laminate. Due to the glossy adhesive technology of the paint, no prime or sand work surface is required. This paint provides excellent opaque coverage and can be easily distressed or buffed to a smooth, shiny finish.


  • Deco art Americana décor has excellent properties that make it suitable for use on most surfaces especially on wood.
  • It gives your bookshelves a matte finish.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It is a water-based paint and easy to clean.
  • It is odorless.


  • Deco art Americana décor has no toxic chemicals, so it is safe to use.
  • It is a safe paint to use.
  • It is a fast-drying paint, so you can work pretty fast.
  • It doesn’t require primer.
  • The paint is environmentally friendly.
  • The paint gives you value for money


  •  It has a slight sheen.

Reason to Buy

If you are looking for paint that will give your bookshelves a more refined look, Deco art Americana decor water-based paints should be top on your list; the paint is water-based to make it suitable for use on most surfaces.

2. FolkArt Plaid 34150 Home Decor Chalk, 8-Ounce, White Adirondack: Best for 

FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Furniture & Craft Paint in Assorted Colors (8 Ounce), 34150 White Adirondack

When it is a question of revamping your bookshelves, FolkArt is the big deal. Not only is the paint safe to use, but its application procedures are also pretty straightforward. What is more, the paints are suitable for use on most surfaces.FolkArt Home Decor Chalk is an ultra-matte chalk finish acrylic paint that can give you a perfect look and feel on your bookshelves. Besides furniture, it is great for decorative glass, home decor items, metal, and much more. Here are some of its properties.


  • FolkArt Plaid 34150 Paint is pretty easy to use.
  • It is a water-based acrylic paint.
  • It is environmentally friendly.
  • It is a fast-drying paint, so you can work seamlessly.
  • The paint is compatible with most surfaces.
  • The paint is a bit stinky.


  • FolkArt Plaid 34150 Paint can be used by all people regardless of their skill level.
  • The paint offers unique and modern finishes on your bookshelves.
  • No printing is necessary; this saves time allowing you to work pretty fast.
  • The paint is compatible with most surfaces.
  • It is a fast-drying paint, so you can finish your project quickly.
  • The paint is safe to use.


  • The paint is not suitable for outdoor projects.
  • It is a bit smelly.

Reason to buy

There are, obviously, many reasons we would advise you to buy this paint, but what caught our attention is that not only is the paint safe to use, but its application procedures are also pretty straightforward. What is more, the pants are suitable for use on most surfaces.

Top 2 Best Paint for Wood Bookshelves: Buying Guide

If you are wondering how we got to choose the two points above, we are going to give some of the factors we took into consideration. Check them out!


When you want to paint on whatever surface, the color of your preferred paint plays a big role. White is the most recommended color to apply on bookshelves, however, this will depend on your preferences but be sure not to go for dull colors.

Chemical composition

If you have been painting for some time, you may agree with us that both water-based and oil-based paints are primarily used on both indoor and outdoor paintworks. When choosing paint for your bookshelves, be sure to go for environmentally friendly paint; additionally, your preferred paint should be non-toxic and safe to handle.


Part of your primary focus, when you decide to paint your bookshelves, is to produce a more refined piece of painting. Having said that, it would be better to consider using paints that will give your bookshelf a unique and nuanced finish.

Quantity of paint

Again, this is a crucial consideration when buying the best paint for wood bookshelves. However, the amount of paint you require will be determined by the size of your project and of course, your budget. We would advise you to go for quantities that will not drain your pockets financially.

Drying time

Fast-drying paints will require you to work on your bookshelves pretty fast to achieve consistency with your painting. On that note, if you use paint that takes more drying time, you will be assured of durability on your paintwork.

Surface prep

Most painting projects will require intensive surface preparation to enhance the bonding properties of your paint. With that in mind, the type of paint you decide to apply to your wooden bookshelves will help you to determine the amount of surface preparation required; it would be better to go through usage instructions to understand better.

Again, depending on the nature of your preferred paint, you may or may not sand or prime your bookshelves before applying your paint.

Tips for Painting Bookshelves

Just like you would other projects, bookshelves will require you to follow a specific pattern if you want to achieve professional results. Below, we examine the crucial tips for painting your bookshelves.

Spraying Paint on Your Bookshelves

The following are some of the procedures in this method:

  • Prepare adequately for your paintwork. Take away all movable items that might interfere with your painting exercise. It would be better to conceal parts you don’t intend to paint within your room.
  • Be sure to work in a well-ventilated environment to avoid damaging your respiratory system.
  • Use suitable wiping materials to get rid of unwanted dust particles from your bookcase. Your focus at this point is to achieve a clean surface for easy painting
  • Be sure to use a dry cloth to remove dust particles; to get rid of sticky dust particles, consider using a damp cloth.
  • Have your primer ready to spray on your bookshelves. Ensure it is well mixed before application; it would be better if you shake the can holding your primer to mix the contents properly. You can do patch tests on another surface to be confident before embarking on the actual Painting.
  • After spraying your primer, allow it to dry for up to twenty minutes before spraying another thin layer of the primer to achieve better results.
  • When you are sure that the primer has dried, apply the first layer of your paint, but be sure to shake it thoroughly for the paint to mix before spraying it on your bookshelves
  • Note that your first coat of paint should be as thin as possible to ensure that you have consistency. Monitor the motions you make while spraying to ensure you achieve an even spray.
  • Allow your shelves to dry for about 30 minutes before you apply a subsequent layer. Note that to achieve the perfect look on your bookcase, you might be forced to apply several coats of paint to get the deep hue you want.
  • For a better quality finish, it would be better to let your shelves stand overnight to ensure the paint dries completely. Always go through the application instructions to be sure of the amount of drying time needed.

How to use a paintbrush and acrylic paint

  • Arrange your workspace adequately in preparation for your painting project. Ensure you have all the required supplies, and finally, make sure your room has a free flow of air to shield yourself from the harmful fumes of the paint.
  • Use a suitable sandpaper to work on the surface of your shelves. It would be helpful to use a sanding machine if you can access one
  • Start by applying a coat of a priming substance on your bookshelves; this will enhance the bonding properties between the surface of your shelves and the paint.
  • Mix your acrylic paint thoroughly before applying it to your bookshelves. Note that acrylic paints make the best paints to use on bookshelves owing to their excellent bonding properties
  • Be sure to use thin and even layers of paint on your bookshelves
  • Allow the initial layers to dry before you apply a subsequent layer

Frequently Asked Questions

We want to keep our promise by answering a tone of commonly asked questions about the painting niche to give you a rough idea of the whole concept of painting bookshelves. Our responses to these questions consist of expert views and thorough research. Check them out!

Question: Is there a specific paint to use on wood bookshelves?

Answer: There are many paints you can use on your bookshelves. In case you intend to retain the original look of your wood surface, it would be better to use polyurethane. Note that acrylic and enamel paint could also produce pretty much the same results.

Question: Is it possible to paint bookshelves with wall paint?

Answer: Though it is commonly used, will discourage you from using wall paint on bookshelves for the simple reason that wall paint has poor bonding properties with wooden materials. Additionally, wall paint will not meet your expectations of durability.

If you have to use wall paint, be sure to prepare your wooden material adequately to enhance the adhesive properties of your wall paint. Because durability is not guaranteed, capitalize on the tips we have shared in this article to get the best paint for your project.

Question: Which kind of protection can you give your painted bookshelves?

Answer: If you apply quality paint to your bookshelves, then you will be assured of durability. Paints meant for bookshelves will automatically provide additional protection to your paintwork. Nevertheless, you can apply protective layers of suitable sealers such as polyurethane or apply more than one layer of your paint.


By now, you are well equipped with sufficient information on how to pick the best paint for use on your wood bookshelves and a brief guide on how to paint your bookshelves. Please be sure to apply the knowledge you have gained in this article to help you make the best buying decision.

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